After my last posting and some very important phone calls to inform the people in my life that I had found what I was looking for, I headed into town to get some money. (Oh i'm back in David at the Bambu house). As I walked down the road, I felt different. My stride, my attitude, and the way I carried myself felt much more natural. No longer did I feel the need to exude confidence, or walk faster than others, or look people straight in the eye, I was felt comfortable in my own skin.
When I came back, I sat by the pool to think through the events of the day but I didn't have to think much. The calmness continuously reassured me that I was doing the right thing and that, while I may have not reached the end, I had completed this leg of my journey. The hostel owner came by and said that he had heard some of my conversations and asked if I was ok. I told him a bit about what I was going through and what I came here for and he said something to the effect of 'People come here to find themselves, but they really need to just remember themselves.' Very true as I know knew.
I felt compelled to sit by the lady who was in the bambu hut behind me, so I did. As I sat down, she overheard my conversation and asked me what I found. I explained to her what I told you all in my posting but it didn't register to her as much, as I would find out later. She told me that she was also here to find happiness and how she couldn't be around her family at home due to some issues. She quickly moved on to pepper me with questions about my previous work experience and she shared that she was a business owner with a lot going on. We chatted for a bit on various topics, mostly related to her work and I found myself just needing to listen.
She was a bit annoyed that she couldn't find the correct ingredients to make homestyle chicken tacos and headed off to the stores in town to search more. Later, back at the computer, a man came to check in and he was a ball of fire. He reminded me of a cartoon character that I had seen before as he had some dark rimmed sunglasses, a deep southern drawl and an all white outfit. He had been here before so they knew him and greeted him. When they spoke to him, he was having three different conversations at the same time and never seemed to stop talking. I immediately thought of this ad, watch it and you will understand. I thought that this guy might have some for me to learn as he seemed to have a wealth of knowledge.
I spent the rest of the day processing what I had been through and trying to make sure I was doing the right thing, the calmness again reassured. The lady I met earlier, I will call her A Dear Friend, showed back up after two attempts with the ingredients for her meal. Later a car pulled up and out came, Bejou, the LA guy I opened up to in the jungle. I didn't think i'd run into him again but I was happy to see him. He and I used to be very much the same. He is a good looking guy, who exudes confidence and has something deeper inside to offer that attracts people to him. When I was explaining to him that I would be completely changed after this trip, he didn't understand and told me that I would always be the same; wise words as I found out. His words were correct, as we all know, as I realized that I would just be who I really was. I chatted with him for a second and told him about my epiphany and that it was time for me to go home. He was a bit taken aback but I think he understood. The next moment, he jumped back into the SUV and went on to find his next conquest.
My thoughts now moved to my hunger, as I hadn't eaten much that day, and how much I was looking forward to another filete!!! My dear friend came to offer me some tacos when she was done but I politely declined as my mind was made up. She left the door open to double dip on dinner, which sounded great to me. I strolled back to the restaurant and found a seat, this time feeling more comfortable that I did a few weeks ago when I was a bit freaked out by the ants and the redicuous heat. The filete was as good as ever and meet all my expectations. A little while later, back at Bambu, My Dear Friend brought out an amazing spread of chicken, cilantro, onion, limes, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and tortillas. I can't even explain how amazing it was for her to find the ingredients and put together a meal that I sometime dream of here. I could tell that she was somebody who had a very nurturing heart and had so much to offer, but maybe didn't know exactly how to do it in her family life. I wasn't hungry but couldn't resist and was not disappointed.
Although I was good with my decision to start heading home, I wanted to wait until I woke up to make sure I was resolved. My night sleeping out back in the Jungle House was good until the roosters decided they didn't want to wait until sun-up to start their heckles but I managed to get a decent nights sleep regardless. When I woke up, I was reassured that I had made the right choice. I spent some time on the phone and, thanks to Mrs Montgomery at continental who waived the 150 change fee, I now had my date and destination! August 31 from Panama City to Atlanta, Georgia to spend some time with my cousin who has a bun in the oven. So excited!
I spent a lot of time the rest of the day, listening on as I swung on the hammock. I listened and talked more to My Dear Friend as she shard more stories about the crazy adventures she has had, she is a commercial tour operator among other things, and also to her and Fred, the man who knows it all, talking about astrology. Fred was a psychologist that had and anicdote or answer to everything. As he told My Friend about her astrology, he agreed with everything she said and explained away, whith certainty not logic, everything she disagreed with. I was amazed at his mind and awed that he seemed to be so unreceptive of the world, a smaller degree of how I was before. A wise lady told me the other day that those who consider themselves smart or intelligent, are rarely emotionally intelligent. I felt the urge to opine but knew it was just my time to listen and learn.
I invited My Dear Friend to join me for dinner and we headed over. At dinner she shared something very personal to me that completely explained the pain that I saw in her. She is an amazing lady who has done so many remarkable things in her life and was so successful in what she does, while at the same time, she carries a lot of pain due to what she has gone through in life while at the same time, has a remarkably free spirit that is able to shine through. I realized that I was heading down the same path before this trip.
I was doubting my spanish skills, as I haven't had much practice, until I spent a couple hours last night tranlating both ways between My Dear Friend, who knew zero spanish, and an amazing Columbian Senora who has shunned the english language to hold on to her culture and values. Even know, I don't know how I was able to relay the messages as they talked mainly about anthropology and the histories of indigineous cultures like the Incas and others.
I'm planning on heading out today to santa catalina, a beach town on the pacific and make the most out of my last weeks here in panama. After my last post, I thought that was the end but I realized that my journey continues but with a new direction. I have made reservations with my both of my brothers and will have many more moments and experiences along the way to share. I still haven't thought about the comforts of home, only the comforts of the people I love.
Thanks for everything and I will continue to need your support, comments, and emails as I keep pushing and finding more about this guy inside.